Top salespeople get more sales with less effort by making better decisions and improving their sales strategy.
Selling is more than just hustle and perseverance — it’s about maximizing efficiency to get the best results with minimal effort. But how do you achieve this?
In this business blog guide, you’ll discover sales techniques to help salespeople like you stop wasting time on inefficient selling tactics and poor decision-making, including the following:
- The role of heuristics
- Types of salespeople
- Successful salespeople traits
- 8 selling strategies for higher performance
What is Heuristics?
As a salesperson, you need to be consciously aware of your biases that lead to poor decision-making and performance.
Are you wondering why you’re struggling to get new customers and more sales even though you’ve got more experience? It may be your use of shortcuts in your decision-making that’s hindering your sales performance. People use shortcuts in just about everything they do. For example, the route they take to get to and from work or the supermarket. We all look for and use shortcuts to speed up our decision-making and problem-solving.
The action of using shortcuts is called Heuristics. These rules of thumb allow people to save time and effort by relying on past experiences and instincts rather than considering every possible option whenever a decision is required. While heuristics are helpful in many situations, shortcuts can cause errors and biases in our judgment.
One example of a heuristic is the “representativeness heuristic,” which is the tendency to judge the likelihood of an event based on how similar it is to a prototype or typical example of a particular category. For example, if someone is asked to imagine a typical hiker, they might picture someone who is fit, wears hiking boots, and carries a backpack. If they are asked to imagine a hiker who is 60 years old and out of shape, they might be less likely to consider this person a “typical” hiker because they do not fit the prototype in their mind. This heuristic can lead to errors in judgment because it does not consider all relevant information.
Another example of using heuristics in a business scenario is the assumption that men are the leaders or managers. When meeting two workers from a business, one male and one female many people assume it’s the male that is the more senior, and this is a bias that, if acted on, will get you in trouble if you attempt to build a relationship with the business.
Are you letting your biases hold you back from getting more sales? The first step to turning your sales around is working on your sales strategy, and to do so, you need to understand what type of salesperson best represents you.
Types of Salespeople
Which type of salesperson are you? Let’s find out. There are many names given to types of salespeople however, fundamentally, you will be either a ‘hunter’ or a ‘farmer’.
A typical hunter-type salesperson focuses solely on customer acquisition. Whereas a farmer-type salesperson prefers seeking new sales from existing customers.
What makes a good salesperson?
Salespeople need good habits, for example, being positive and enthusiastic. All salespeople need strong communication skills, the ability to build relationships with clients, and the ability to persuade and negotiate effectively.
Salespeople also need to be organized, self-motivated, and able to adapt to changing situations. Ultimately, the most important factor in a salesperson’s success is their ability to identify the needs of their clients and offer solutions that meet those needs.
Whether a farmer or hunter salesperson, these traits are the basics, so you will need to hone them and work on your sales strategy to improve your performance.
Sales Strategy For Higher Performance
Salespeople can use a few strategies to get more sales with less effort, including online and offline, including the following:
- Build a strong network
- Develop strong communication skills
- Foster relationships with clients
- Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments
- Build a strong online presence
- Use digital tools, platforms, automation, and AI
- Learn from successful salespeople
- Develop a follow-up system
1. Build a strong network
Developing a network of industry contacts and referral sources can help salespeople generate leads and close deals more efficiently.
2. Develop strong communication skills
Whether communicating in person, on the phone, or through video conferencing, salespeople need to clearly and effectively communicate the value of their products or services.
3. Foster relationships with clients
Building trust and establishing strong relationships with clients is still a key part of successful sales, regardless of whether the interactions are in person or online. Instead of focusing on one-off transactions and small sales, build strong customer relationships to generate repeat and referral business.
When you focus on building connections with existing and potential customers, over time, you will see more success than if you were simply trying to make quick sales. Additionally, showing that you genuinely care about your customers’ satisfaction makes them more likely to continue doing business with you.
4. Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments
Salespeople should be constantly learning and adapting to stay ahead of the competition. This might involve attending conferences, reading industry publications, and taking continuing education courses.
5. Build a strong online presence
In the digital age, salespeople need a professional online presence, including a well-designed website and a strong LinkedIn profile.
6. Use digital tools and platforms, embrace automation
Use digital tools and platforms to connect with clients and prospects. This might include using digital marketing campaigns using social media, email marketing, and online advertising to reach potential customers and nurture leads. Plus, with these tools, you can leverage data and analytics. Salespeople should be able to use data to understand the needs and preferences of their clients and tailor their sales approach accordingly.
Start by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and average order value. This will give you a better understanding of which strategies are working best, so you can focus more on what’s driving results and less on trial-and-error approaches. Furthermore, use data from customer surveys to see how well existing services meet customer needs to continually improve product offerings and sales processes.
Automation and AI
Automation can help reduce the time and energy you spend running your sales process. You can automate repetitive and mundane sales-related tasks by using automated tools, such as integrated customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This will allow you to spend more time engaging prospects, building relationships, and creating solutions for customers’ needs.
Additionally, automation allows data-driven decisions to be made quickly, making it easier to recognize patterns or trends in customer behavior, which can inform a more effective strategy.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to manage sales leads and nurture prospects. AI-powered tools can analyze customer behavior and purchase intent to anticipate customer needs, improve conversion rates and provide personalized customer experiences. With AI, you can automate generating leads, segmenting audiences, tracking engagement levels, and qualifying each prospect to ensure better lead management and increased sales conversions.
7. Learn from successful salespeople
Salespeople can learn from the strategies and techniques of their most successful colleagues and apply them to their own sales efforts. For example, follow salespeople who are influencers on your favorite social media sites. Their useful tips will help you to stay in the right mindset and sell more with less effort.
One recommendation will be the setting of clear goals and tracking your progress.
By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, salespeople can stay focused and track their progress towards meeting them.
8. Develop a Follow-Up System To Maximize Conversions
Following up with customers is key in converting leads and closing more sales. Develop a system for follow-ups so that no one slips through the cracks and you maximize conversions. Automated emails can be helpful for this, as they remove manual work from your plate. But you should also have multiple contact points – such as phone calls, texts, or social media messages – to ensure you stay top of mind.
Sending timely and relevant content can also help nurture prospects until they’re ready to buy. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback after the sale – this will give you insights into the customer’s experience so you can make improvements where necessary.